Doctors Franchette Panti and Hazel Palmes brief local media on the Province’s vaccination plan.
The province passed the Department of Health’s (DOH) vaccine simulation yesterday with vaccines set to roll out this week, according to local health officials in a press conference held at the Governor’s Office Conference Room this Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
Six hundred eighty-four (684) frontline health workers are slated to be vaccinated come Thursday or Friday, with 524 opting for AstraZeneca shots and the remaining 160 for Sinovac.
The island’s first COVID-19 vaccination will take place at the Eastern Bicol Medical Center, as Juan M. Alberto Memorial District Hospital, Pandan District Hospital, Catanduanes Doctor’s Hospital, and Immaculate Heart of Mary Hospital have yet to submit their vaccination plans and undergo DOH simulation.
Provincial Health Office (PHO) chief Dr. Hazel Palmes noted that the province’s vaccination will roll out in the following order of priority: frontline health workers, Rural Health Units and the Department of the Interior and Local Government’s contact tracers, uniformed personnel (e.g. soldiers, policemen) and barangay health workers.
Gov. Joseph C. Cua also expressed interest in purchasing vaccines to speed up the three-year timetable of the province’s herd immunity, or immunizing 70% of Catandunganons.
“[M]edyo mahaba naman ‘yung timetable. We might decide also na… to purchase those [vaccines] for the vulnerable citizens of Catanduanes. As far as the brand is concerned, kasi may first salvo na eh, of course we will observe kung ano ang popular, kung ano ang in-demand, kung ano ang gusto ng mga tao,” he said.
‘Observe health protocols even when vaccinated’
Local officials also reminded citizens to still observe minimum health standards as the province rolls out its vaccination program before this weekend.
DOH’s Dr. Robert John Aquino explained that vaccines – including the Sinovac and AstraZeneca shots allotted to the province – have different efficacy rates for mild, moderate, and severe cases of COVID-19.
“Hindi porket may bakuna na, hindi na po makakahawa. Hindi porket may bakuna na, hindi ka na magkakaroon ng COVID. And of course, porket na-injection ka na ng [COVID vaccine], hindi ka na mag-pra-practice ng minimum health standards,” Dr. Aquino stated.
Dr. Aquino also noted that the spike in recent cases may be due to lax observance of health protocols, adding that the Regional Epidemiology Surveillance Unit has yet to determine if the spike can be attributed to the new COVID-19 variants.
“Siguro we are not doing what we have to do. We are not practicing the minimum health standards. ‘Yun lang po siguro na laging [….] sa bawa’t Catandunganon, that we must practice, always, kasi pwede pa rin tayo makahawa,” he added.
According to PHO Dr. Franchette Panti, the island currently has 2 new cases and 31 active cases, tallying to 214 total COVID-19 cases, with 4 deaths and 179 recoveries.
Tags:Boboy Cua Catanduanes Cua Gov. Joseph C. Cua Governor Joseph Cua Happy Island Joseph Cua